Mississippi State hands Georgia fifth loss in a row

Kario Oquendo scored 28 for Georgia. (File photo by Mackenzie Miles / UGA Athletic Department)

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

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Kario Oquendo scored 28 for Georgia. (File photo by Mackenzie Miles / UGA Athletic Department)

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

Kario Oquendo scored a career-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting but Georgia lost to Mississippi State 88-72 on Wednesday night in Starkville, Miss.

Noah Baumann added 15 points and Jabri Abdur-Rahim 13 for Georgia (5-11, 0-3), which lost its fifth straight.

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Iverson Molinar scored a career-high 28 as Mississippi State quickly overtook Georgia in the second half.

Molinar was 11-of-18 shooting with seven assists. Javian Davis produced 18 productive minutes off the bench with 12 points, a team-high six rebounds and three blocks. Cameron Matthews and Andersson Garica added 10 points each. Garrison Brooks had four of Mississippi State’s 10 blocks. Mississippi State (11-4, 2-1 SEC) shot 53%.

Georgia next plays Saturday at home against Vanderbilt.

After trailing by a point at halftime, Mississippi State built a 10-point lead over the first seven minutes of the second half. Abdur-Rahim scored seven consecutive points midway through the half to cut lead to three, but Mississippi State responded with a 17-5 run capped by Shakeel Moore’s 3-pointer to go up 15. A few minutes later, Molinar scored six straight points and the lead was 19.

Mississippi State 88, Georgia 72

Neither team led by more than six points in the first half when there were nine lead changes and four ties with Oquendo scoring 15 points, two over his per-game season average, and Molinar 11. Baumann's layup with nine seconds left gave Georgia a 36-35 lead at the break.

Mississippi State was without 6-foot-11 forward Tolu Smith for a second straight game. Last year’s SEC rebounding leader, when he had eight double-doubles, has played in only five games this season because of injuries.